The House is advancing a bill (HR-5146) to require federal contracting officers to consider a joint venture’s past performance when evaluating the past performance of a small business joint venture member that is seeking to compete for federal prime contracts.
The measure, which has cleared the Small Business Committee, also would require contracting officers to accept past performance information provided by a prime contractor regarding its subcontractor.
“Joint ventures have become increasingly popular as small businesses seek ways to effectively compete in the federal marketplace since it permits small businesses to pool their resources together to form a new, more competitive entity. However, understanding how to assess past performance generated by joint ventures has not yet caught up with the rate in which joint ventures have been utilized,” says a report on the bill.
It says that while past performance is one of the most relevant selection factors a contracting officer considers when making an award decision, small businesses that have performed work as part of a joint venture often cannot document that they have such experience because a relevant past performance rating solely for that business may not exist.
Meanwhile, newly offered legislation in the Senate (S-3038) aims to increase small business contracting with the government through greater use of SBA programs, reducing barriers to small business participation in bidding, and more sharing of best practices within the acquisition community.
Also, President Trump has signed into law (P.L. 116-103) a bill passed late in 2019 to establish a common set of financial data standards for agencies to use in awarding and overseeing grants.
See also, Federal Government Ethics Policies at ask.FEDweek.com